BWV 248I Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage (Weihnachts-Oratorium I)

Christmas Day.

Poet unknown (Picander?); PT (Leipzig, 1734); Facs: Neumann T, p. 448.

2. Lk. 2:1 and 3-6; 5. Paul Gerhardt, verse 1 of "Wie soll ich dich empfangen," 1653 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #401); 6. Lk. 2:7; 7. Martin Luther, verse 6 of "Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ," 1524 (Wackernagel, III, #9), with interpolated recitative; 9. Martin Luther, verse 13 of "Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her," 1535 (Wackernagel, III, #39).

25 December 1734, Leipzig; Parody: 1, 8 ← BWV 214/1, 7; 4← BWV 213/9.

BG 5, 2; NBA II/6.

Christmas Oratorio I

1. Chorus (S, A, T, B)

Triumph, rejoicing, rise, praising these days now,
Tell ye what this day the Highest hath done!
Fear now abandon and banish complaining,
Join, filled with triumph and gladness, our song!

    Serve ye the Highest in glorious chorus,
    Let us the name of our ruler now honor!

2. Recit. (T) Evangelist

It occurred, however, at the time that a decree from the Emperor Augustus went out that all the world should be enrolled. And everyone then went forth to be enrolled, each person unto his own city. And then as well went up Joseph from Galilee from the city of Nazareth into the land of  Judea to David’s city which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and of the lineage of David to be enrolled there with Mary, who was betrothed to be his wife, and she was pregnant. And while they were in that place, there came the time for her to be delivered.

3. Recit. (A)

Now is my dearest bridegroom rare,
Now is the prince of David’s stem
As earth’s redeeming comfort
Here born in time amongst us.
Now will shine bright the star of Jacob,
Its beam e’en now breaks forth.
Rise, Zion, and abandon now thy weeping,
Thy fortune soars aloft.

4. Aria (A)

Prepare thyself, Zion, with tender affection,
The fairest, the dearest soon midst thee to see!
Thy cheeks’ beauty
Must today shine much more brightly,
Hasten, the bridegroom to love with deep passion.

5. Chorale (S,A,T,B)

How shall I then receive thee
And how thy presence find?
Desire of every nation,
O glory of my soul!
O Jesus, Jesus,
Set out for me thy torch,
That all that brings thee pleasure
By me be clearly known.

6. Recit. (T) Evangelist

And she brought forth her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him within a manger, for they had no other room in the inn for them.

7. Chorale (S) and Recit. (B)

    He is to earth now come so poor,
Who will the love then rightly praise
Which this our Savior for us keeps?
    That he us his mercy show
Yea, is there one who understandeth
How he by mankind's woe is moved?
    And in heaven make us rich
The Most High's Son comes in the world
Whose health to him so dear is held,
    And to his own dear angels like.
So will he as a man himself be born now.

8. Aria (B)

Mighty Lord, O strongest sovereign,
Dearest Savior, O how little
Heedest thou all earthly pomp!

    He who all the world doth keep,
    All its pomp and grace hath fashioned,
    Must within the hard crib slumber.

9. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Ah my belovéd Jesus-child,
Make here thy bed, clean, soft and mild
For rest within my heart’s own shrine,
That I no more fail to be thine!

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

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